Record Details

NHER Number:15019
Type of record:Monument
Name:North Tuddenham World War Two decoy airfield


This was a World War Two 'K' site or decoy airfield with flarepaths and plywood planes. The dummy runway and a searchlight battery can be seen on aerial photographs taken in the 1940s. The site was bombed on several occasions, and a B24 bomber crashed here in 1944. Some buildings survived until around 1970. Prehistoric burnt flints have been found by fieldwalking, and metal detecting has recovered debris from the B24 and a Bronze Age tanged chisel.

Images - none


Grid Reference:TG 03 13
Map Sheet:TG01SW

Full description

Decoy Airfield, known as North Tuddenham.
'K' site with flarepaths and plywood Wellingtons. Bombed several times. Some buildings survived until around 1970. Craters remain visible. The exact site was marked on information from [1] who claims that it was a 'Q' site and that he has seen a German wartime publication marking it as a decoy. Note there is a building resembling an air raid shelter further east, in the wood against the road; and the farm at the crossroads 0.5 mile east has a structure like a blast shelter, which may have been necessitated by the proximity. Correct extent and dimensions, mostly in North Tuddenham, given by [2]. He did not believe it extended west into Dereham parish, but [1] was sure entrance was 'opposite the Dereham 3 mile stone'.
E. Rose (NAU), 27 May 1983

1985 to 1986. Fieldwalking approximate corridor of proposed bypass.
Context 2 TG 0262 1358 to TG 0288 1358.
Potboilers '72m from west boundary' probably ploughing spread from site NHER 3078, if not that site wrongly placed. Aircraft remains. Large quantities of plexiglass (some very thick); large fragment of engine radiator?; section of metal spar; long aluminium tube; much ammunition. Cannon shells etc with cartridge base stamped SLA 3. Much other scrap. This is clearly not from one of the decoys, and must represent an actual crash site.
Identified by A. Rogerson (NAU).
E. Rose (NAU).

[2] reports that the aircraft was a Liberator crashed ?1944.
E. Rose (NAU), 28 February 1986.

Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum state a B24 crashed 21 April 1944.

May 1991. Metal detecting find.
Tanged chisel at TG 0262 1369. Fresh condition, but recent damage to edges.
See (S1).
A. Rogerson (NLA), 30 May 1991

For plan of decoy see (S2) (copy in Norfolk General file).

Area of site to south of A47 visited for earthworks re note from [3]. No archaeological earthworks noted.
See (S3).

1946 RAF air photograph.
Indicates probable dummy runway outline in fields NHER 6336 and NHER 7437, and searchlight battery at TG 0300 1358, to north of road, consisting of four circular structures and with one further possible to north as cropmark in grassland.

1964 Ordnance Survey air photograph.
Shows this latter area as grassland, but all features as cropmarks.
B. Cushion (NLA) September 1997.

[4] reports that 'structure resembling aircraft shelter' is in fact the command bunker (at 03331 1399) and there is a second retaining radio equipment at 0359 1399. The earth has been removed from above. The shelter noted in the garden of the house has been built over.
E. Rose (NLA), 15 April 1999.

It was in fact a legal requirement to provide shelters for houses near to decoy sites.
Information from English Heritage.
E. Rose (NLA), 23 October 2000.

Monument Types

  • AIR RAID SHELTER (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • AIRCRAFT (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • BOMBING DECOY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)
  • SEARCHLIGHT BATTERY (World War Two - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Finds

  • POT BOILER (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • CHISEL (Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 701 BC)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: TG 01/TG 0313/A; 64 197 091.
---Article in Serial: 1973. Airfields of Norfolk and Suffolk. Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum. vol 2.
---Serial: Dobinson, C.S.. 1996. Twentieth Century Fortifications in England Volume III: Bombing Decoys of WWII.. Vol III. p 92.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Illustration: Ashley, S.. 1991. Drawing of a Late Bronze Age tanged chisel.. Film. 1:1.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1996. The men who fooled the Luftwaffe. 6 November.
<S3>Unpublished Document: Cushion, B. (NLA). 1997. Earthwork report on land at North Tuddenham.

Related records - none

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